Tiny Stories: Above The Fray

Popular belief has it that the universe is comprised of atoms. In reality, the universe is actually made up of…

There was always a brief moment of calm in the Foster Care facility, when all the children were done up in their Sunday best and the social workers’ stern warning of “Don’t mess up your clothes” was still fresh in the mind and temporarily obeyed.

But the children’s goal of the day, as was the case with every Sunday, was to get themselves fostered in the hopes of finally being adopted, and leaving the facility’s junior prison-style dormitory life far, far behind.

Normally, a group of families would arrive and the children would be on their best behavior, seeming happier and friendlier than normal, getting along better with their fellow fosterees for the simple fact that grumpy, isolated children never made the foster family selection pool.

This day, however, the pickings were slim because only one couple walked through the doors, and they, although it wasn’t a kind thing to say, looked less wealthy than families in the past. Still, all the children wanted their share of attention.

The couple was spoiled for choice with so many children vying for their attention, hopping around like puppies in a pet shop. Soon, it became a free-for-all, each kid doing a stunt or trick in order to snatch the limelight from the less talented. The air was so thick with desperation that even the older children tossed themselves into the mix.

But not Liam. He chose to remain above the fray.

Enough is enough, Liam thought. Let them perform like circus monkeys and ruin the sanctity of the day.

And as Liam turned to walk away, determined never to take part in this Sunday ritual ever again, the couple pointed at him and asked the social worker, “What about that one, there? What’s his story?”